Over the past year I’ve faced so many people asking the question of which computer they should buy, it’s been dizzying. A lot of people have been asking as they measure whether to jump over to the Mac platform, and others just need to pick up some sort of replacement.
Also this weekend I faced explaining to Mom that her beloved (and 10 year old) IBM Aptiva probably needed to get thrown away. It broke her heart to see it go and wanted me to see if there was any way to fix it up so that it could be inherited by some disadvantaged person or maybe someone’s toddlers.
I spent a few hours reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling OS/2 (the Operating System that had originally come with it) and I too felt pangs of nostalgia and wished more live could be breathed into the machine. But alas, it didn’t even have an ethernet port, it was filled with the maximum amount of supported RAM (24 Megs) and the most modern version of Windows that could fit on it was maybe Windows 98.
Mom ended up on the phone for about an hour seeing if there was any place she could donate the computer, or failing that any way to get the garbage men to pick it up. (Turns out they’ll do it for a $5 fee.)
So I’ve decided to write a short mini-article and—who knows—someone surfing the blogosphere may come to this entry pondering these issues. I think I’ve got a pretty easy-to-understand and concise couple of answers.